Dear Parish Family,
A major part of Lent is almsgiving. At the Masses I celebrated last Sunday, I explained our parish Lenten project in further depth, explaining the specific ways we are endeavoring to “welcome the stranger,” “comfort the afflicted,” and “feed the hungry” with the alms placed in our “House of Mercy” by the statue of St. Joseph.
We also have our annual Diocesan Services Appeal. A number of parishioners do not make a gift to DSA probably because they don’t know all the wonderful things it supports. The nearly five million dollars raised each year accounts for almost two-thirds of the diocesan operating budget. Among many things, those DSA funds help 1) to train our future clergy, like our seminarian intern we had last year, Mark Martin, 2) to create block grants for Catholic Charities that cares for the most vulnerable members of our communities, 3) to support migrant and prison ministries, foster care, and adoption, 4) to provide counseling for the abused and those addicted to drugs and alcohol, 5) to broadcast the outreach Mass that so many of our seniors and homebound parishioners depend on each week, 6) to develop people in all levels of ministry such as our principals, teachers, catechists, coordinators of youth ministry, and much more.
As you can see, the DSA provides for many works of mercy that we would be very difficult to do at the parish level. So, I encourage you to take seriously our Bishop’s call to support the 2016 Diocesan Services Appeal. Kudos to everyone after last year’s $94,000, which is considerably more than past years! Let’s do it again in this Jubilee Year of Mercy and work towards our goal of just over $114,000.
Have a fruitful “Second Half!”
Lent is cruising right along. We are now just past the halfway point of the Lenten season. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to carve out at least ten to fifteen minutes daily to do some spiritual reading and meditation. What’s the best time of day for you so that you don’t miss your time with God? Is it the first thing in the morning? At your lunch hour? Right after work? Just before bed? Whatever it is, recognize the One whom we are called to love with all our heart, soul and mind. Maybe read your Christmas gift, the Rediscover Jesus book, about which I’ve heard so many positive things from a number of you. You can read the bite-size chapters in five to ten minutes, and then spend another five minutes with the prayer and meditation points at the end of each chapter. There are also other books available on the kiosk in the main entrance vestibule.
Then on a weekly basis, I invite you to take a couple of hours to spend time investing in your faith in any number of ways. This would be a great time to try our Catholicism 101 on Wednesday nights. Check our Faith Formation page in this bulletin to see what’s going on. Go on the Formed website, formed.org, and input our parish access number, 0766a8. You will have access to a treasury of high-quality faith formation videos on a wealth of topics that will spiritually enrich your life. So as your “spiritual coach,” that’s the training regimen I suggest to have a fantastic “second half” of Lent!
Yours in Christ,